You say “tomato,” I say “be careful; tomatoes stain.”

I’m not saying, “things are hard.” I’m saying, “when, in the course of human events, you’re in a crappy mood, even normal life seems hard.”

We need to get into a kindergarten that won’t break my child by using the old carrot-stick model of factory child production. We need to move or win the lottery to do that. I don’t want to move or play the lottery.

Spouse needs knee surgery. I need Spouse so I can have one hour to myself a week. I need one hour to myself a week to polish two journal articles and a novel resubmission. I need to polish articles and rejigger a novel to keep my sanity, self of self worth, and forward motion. I need one hour a week. I want three hours a day. I foresee no hours and a long knee rehab.

I need some sleep. For me to sleep, Butter needs to sleep. He needs clear ears to do that. He has a cold and relatively mildly infected ears, which could be due to our elimination diet. He needs us to stay off omelets and sourdough and cheese and peanut butter. I want cheese rolls. I foresee rice and beans for about as long as knee rehab.

No, I’m not reworking and publishing my awesome novel. But I cleaned the microwave today. I haven’t had the time to develop the finer points of an intricate argument I’m making for a journal article. But I steam mopped the floors while holding a baby who refused to nap. I haven’t made any progress on the resume and cover letter a friend asked me two months ago to submit to her, but I assessed the status of storage in the garage.

I haven’t made any progress on the seven things I ranked most important to my happiness (in a New Year’s exercise on priorities). But I did bits and pieces of stuff that didn’t matter at all. Without any flavor, sleep, or alone time. Yay for me?

11 thoughts on “You say “tomato,” I say “be careful; tomatoes stain.”

  1. Darling, I am in tears. You live thisclose to crack cheese rolls, and you can’t have them? ‘Tis a hard, hard world. I don’t know how you are doing this. Really.

    One hour a week to yourself, and you want to fucking work during that time? Holy Beejezus. Although I do understand about the need for self-worth. After nearly a decade of being First-Class Ass Wiper, my soul does long for better things.

    *aside: as I write this, I look out the window and see at least 2 dozen crows in my yard. They are enthusiastically feasting on something. Dare I hope that it’s the voles?

    Anyways. Hugs and love to you and your delicious boys. I miss you, bigbrain. xo

  2. Ugh, when things are crap, things are crap. I hear you. And you heard me when I was up to my brain in crap a while back. Your words of wisdom back then? To wallow in the shitty for a while. It was really good for me to hear, maybe it will be good for you too:
    (Sleep is also a big biggie. All that parent-of-a-newborn adrenaline or whatever it is starts to fade and leaves you a total wreck. But you will sleep again, and it will do wonders.)
    Big big hugs to you.

  3. Nap, I think you need to visit some kind of witch doctor. For the love of God, you are already eating stuff that makes cheese rolls seem like the fruit of the Gods. You get one hour to yourself and now that’s going to shit…And your hubby needs to have surgery…The rehab alone will drive you to drink (please tell me you can still drink). When it rains, it really pours sometimes, eh?

    Here’s to hoping a little white (or black) magic finds its way to you, so that: sleep comes quickly and for extended periods of time, that the knee surgery and subsequent rehab are as painless as possible, and the return of a substantial and varied diet is soon upon you, and that the time and words flow freely to accomplish all that you must.

    In the meantime, dive head first into it, surrender, and remember, this too shall pass…

  4. I thought the same thing as Witch. WHAT THE HELL? You get ONE hour and you want to work? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR… um, yes, nevermind. you clearly have. And working would help you get out of LOST. Anything I can do to help?, if you need something read, pass it on!

    The big dude can still grill with one bum knee! ahem.

  5. Sometimes you have to just say “fuck it.”

    Take your hour. SOMEONE will watch your kids for an HOUR a week. But you have to ask. So do that. Immediately.

    I was where you are. Asking for help was the hardest thing I’d ever done. Once I made it clear to myself what I needed and acknowledged to the universe that I was spinning down into a total shit hole, I was able to crawl out of the hole.

    And. the MICROWAVE? Nope. the microwave can wait, darling. Think of just how thrilled with yourself you’ll be when you actually work on your articles. The high you’ll get from that will make cleaning the microwave possible even with 2 kids clinging to your legs!

    The more you do for yourself the more you will have to give to your family!

  6. @dirtdonthurt when I cleaned the microwave the kids were hanging off my legs. And I mopped the floors by telling Peanut to sit on the couch and watch the new hit movie “Mommy Mops the Floor”. He did not appreciate the joke, but he sat for a few minutes. ;-)

    @jc I’ll gladly send you a research piece if I ever get it glossy enough for you. I always dig another pair of eyes.

    @Maria thankfully I can still have my half glass of wine every week or so. Baby can only take so much of my desire to self medicate, but I’m trying to raise his tolerance…

    @macondo sage advice, that. Thank you.

    @tkw I can almost taste the rolls. Not the voles. Hope your garden is fine this year.

  7. You could always move to the midwest. That’s what we’re doing. I have a campus interview with a school in Indianapolis, where I’m from, but even if I don’t get the job, we’re kicking California to the curb. It’s impossible for us to live here anymore with all of our mounting debt and no help. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to live near my mother…

  8. You need one hour per week. You want three hours per day. Yes. Me too. Also, the doing of so many tasks that are nowhere near the essential ones that I need to do for ME, MYSELF, I (not me, myself, mommy) is just not fulfilling, even when the floor is clean for a moment and no little person is yelling for me. I am so with you. Hang in there.

  9. Toooooooootally get it. Empathy in buckets.
    Sorry that your kindergarten is Dickensian, sorry that spouse has to have knee surgery because that’s rough all around, and sorry that you aren’t getting your Nap Time. Hugs and hugs and more hugs.

    Best post title ever, though!

  10. You know, a clean microwave IS a good thing. Pat yourself on the back and pray for that free time to write tomorrow. It will come, it will come, it will come, it will come (this is what I keep saying to myself).

  11. oh naps. who doesn’t nap. the job isn’t a solution, just a different thing to complain about. which, for the moment, is actually better than only complaining about how hard parenting is, which is how i spent the past 4 years until last month. get that cover letter DONE! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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